HC Deb 19 March 1906 vol 154 cc99-100
MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

called the attention of the Speaker to what he described as a daily breach of the rules of the House. He pointed out that the rules provided that a Member I by placing his hat on a seat, or a card provided for the purpose, and subsequently remaining within the precincts of the House, acquired the right to that seat for the sitting. Every day Members secured a seat and then went away and did not return until prayers. He wished to know whether such conduct was not a breach of the rules of the House, and whether it came under Rule 161 and was punishable by the Speaker as "grossly disorderly conduct."


It is, or ought to be by this time, the well known rule that Members who take seats before prayer time ought not to leave the House, but should remain within the precincts. I cannot say that as at present advised I should be prepared to put in force the rule mentioned by the hon. Member. I feel sure that when it is thoroughly understood that there should be an honourable understanding to that effect, hon. Members will be prepared to carry out the spirit as well as the letter of the rule.